10 Nonfiction Books That Will Change Your Perspective

Tue, 10 Jul 2018

Whether you're interested in journalistic histories, the LGBTQ community, true crime, business and leadership, the Bible, or any number of other topics, you can always gain more knowledge. The books on our list are bound to give anyone from an amateur to an expert a new perspective on their subject of choice.

Nonfiction That Will Change Your Worldview

  1. Time Travel: A History by James Gleick
  2. Doing It by Hannah Witton
  3. Assume the Worst: The Graduation Speech You'll Never Hear by Carl Hiaasen
  4. You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit by James K. A. Smith
  5. Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't by Simon Sinek
  6. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
  7. Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
  8. Starvation Heights: A True Story of Murder and Malice in the Woods of the Pacific Northwest by Gregg Olsen
  9. What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything by Rob Bell
  10. The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer

What's The Difference Between Information And Meaning?

In Depth

Reading can broaden one's horizons. Like Abraham Lincoln once said, "A capacity, and taste, for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others." However, this information can not only expand our knowledge, but also alter how we see the world, thus stimulating our curiosity and shaping our personality. So if you're interested in thought-provoking books that will change your perspective, you will want to check out these 10 nonfiction titles, listed in no particular order.

Starting off at #1 is "Time Travel: A History." Known as a science writer, James Gleick presents us with the human understanding of time and how it affects the modern world. The narrative begins with Gleick examining Herbert George Wells' "The Time Machine," a novel that was published in 1895. He explains how the author's book paved the way for other types of fictional stories with the same plot to come.

It also talks about how individuals like Albert Einstein and Kurt Godel have looked at the concept of time. With references to philosophy and physics, the book remains cynical about the possibility of time travel, but rather observes how our culture acknowledges it.

At #2 is "Doing It," which digs deep into the topic of sex and relationships. Written by British YouTuber Hannah Witton, the book is divided into sections that informally talk about body image, STIs and STDs, contraception, puberty, hormones, and masturbation, among other topics.

Aimed towards young adults, it goes in depth as it explains laws about sexual abuse and rape. It also takes a look at the traits of a healthy relationship in comparison to abusive ones, which are often romanticized in movies. Moreover, Witton explains the different gender labels and includes passages from people in the LGBTQ community about their personal experiences with intercourse and self-love.

At #3 is "Assume the Worst." The Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen gives real-life advice to recent college graduates. This 64-page book conveys a realistic view of a student's future while weaving in wisdom with the humor. With hilarious cartoon illustrations by Roz Chaz, the narrative aims to deliver rational expectations rather than the usual graduation speeches that only speak of positive aspects, and can lead to disappointment. Hiaasen also enumerates the overused sayings in those speeches, and presents us with his viewpoint on practicality and sensibility.

At #4 is "You Are What You Love," which revolves around the Christian perspective regarding our innermost desires. James K. A. Smith presents a book that encourages us to evaluate if we really love what we think we love, based on our everyday actions. It talks about the complex connection between our beliefs and practices, and how they affect our aspirations in life. Smith also includes passages from the Bible that relate to guarding your heart from worldly longings.

At #5 is "Leaders Eat Last," which tackles ethical leadership in the workplace. Simon Sinek presents us with the traits of an effective leader, and examines the effects of different management styles from big companies. He discusses cultivating a circle of safety in an organization by putting the people first, and the difference between short and long term leadership. Sinek also details the four biological chemicals that drive our behavior, and how leaders can use them to make a positive impact in the lives of each worker.

Coming in at #6 is "Quiet." Written by Susan Cain, it delves into the strengths of introverts in the modern world. She talks about the psychology behind introversion and extroversion, and how they are both valued in society. Cain sites examples of introverted leaders, and how they utilize their characteristics for success. This thought-provoking book aims to make readers understand how different people respond to various situations.

At #7 is "Killers of the Flower Moon," which deals with a series of murders that happened to the Osage Native Americans in the 1920s. This narrative tells the story of the Osage, who found oil in their territory in Oklahoma. The newly-formed FBI then investigated the widespread killings following their discovery. David Grann details the case's possibilities, the background of those FBI leaders who spearheaded the investigation, and gives us his viewpoint on the subject in relation to American history.

At #8 is "Starvation Heights." Gregg Olsen gives us a true crime narrative of medical malpractice that happened in Olalla, Washington in the early 1900s. It tells the story of Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard, who practiced her unconventional and non-medical cure for the ailing in a secluded sanitarium. Olsen presents the horrible justice system of the era, and captivates readers with a haunting saga about murder, theft, conspiracy, and botched medical treatments.

What we have at #9 is "What is the Bible?" Rob Bell aspires to give direction to those who are confused by the Scripture, and to convince readers that the Bible is relevant not only for Christians, but everyone. Bell gives a different perspective on the stories and interprets them contextually, rather than literally. He also presents multiple heretical views, as he encourages people to read the Bible as a collection of books that intend to rescue humans from their destructive nature.

Finally, at #10 is "The Art of Asking." This book aims to inspire readers to accept help from others and to stop trying to do everything alone. Amanda Palmer gives us her viewpoint regarding the importance of building a support network through honesty, generosity, and not being afraid to ask. With anecdotes from Palmer's personal life experiences, it details several how-to principles that not only teaches you to help yourself, but also to help others by being open and fearless.